More Conservatives Win School Board Seats in Florida: We need more Darbi Boddy types at Lakota

Just because the conservative experiment at Lakota has not turned out well doesn’t mean it’s a failure across the country. I would say the problems we have at Lakota are natural and part of the transition process. Not the result of failed intentions. When I signed up to help elect a conservative school board at Lakota with a 3 to 2 vote on issues, that, of course, assumed that we were getting conservative candidates. But through the rigors of the day-to-day operations, sometimes people find out they aren’t so conservative. They may have thought they were conservative in the safety of GOP meetings, but when the rubber hits the road, and process bureaucracy starts to take effect, people learn a lot about themselves that they may not have known. And people fall off the wagon. In that case, we just need to look for more candidates and keep putting them on the school board. I signed up for a Darbi Boddy type of school board, not a bunch of softies who would let the superintendent rule the world. I expect the school board to be in charge, not to let radical employees rule the day, and so far, in 2022, that is what has happened. Once things started to get tough, we discovered that Darbi was the only one showing up for work. And that is why we have a lot of the problems that are going on at Lakota now. I wouldn’t say it’s a failure of an effort as much as we are learning what kind of people make good school board members, and we are getting a definition of conservative values that is challenging people’s belief systems in themselves, which will ultimately be good for the community, even if it’s painful now. And as usual, what goes on in Lakota, a big government school in Northern Cincinnati, in the community where I live, so goes much of the rest of the nation. 

In the recent elections in Florida, Republicans showed up to vote for school board members 3 to 1. The more states in America that start to run their states as Ron DeSantis does, the more this trend will continue. Ohio isn’t quite there now. There are a lot of RINO Republicans who still think of themselves as Bush conservatives and Reagan admirers. But Trump is a bit too much “solution” for them, and when the pressure is on, they crack like eggs over an omelet. School boards should never have been considered “politically” neutral. The goal in politics isn’t for everyone to get along.

Public schools are radical institutions conceived by liberalism for teaching liberal arts. They have not produced children that grew up into happy Americans, quite the opposite. Many parents are seeing that they are unhappy with the product of public schools and are finally inserting themselves into possible solutions. For years people have asked me to be a school board member at Lakota for several decades now. Over time, the idea of public school has absolutely made me sick. I don’t think they are good at anything they do. But I have offered my help, especially these last few years, to help make them into a solution. I was quite aware that the people I was dealing with were professional community conversation types who befriend you to win you over, like a timeshare salesman. But I helped anyway because the school of Lakota was already in my home district. I personally pay thousands of dollars a year into that mess. So, I was open to the idea if it could be saved somehow. So, I helped where I could to see what might happen. It was worth a shot.

Other Darbi Boddy types are out there, and school boards across America have elected them by popular vote. It’s part of the trend of populism that is migrating to form the modern political movement that is going to sink all the mistakes of the administrative state finally, as it was conceived by communist and utopian socialists like John Dewey when they came up with the dumb idea of public education in the first place. Sure, it’s been a good free babysitting service for busy parents, but it has raised disasters in people who are failures of the 7 liberal arts in every way they could be measured. Even the best students of the public education system have turned out to be disasters of people and what is bad about the whole institutional approach is that public schools led by liberal-leaning school boards have developed the habit of protecting the bad conduct that goes on in the schools, rather than managing those problems for the betterment of the children involved. It’s all been a disaster from top to bottom, and finally, people are starting to admit to it and are offering themselves as options to get elected and help the way Darbi has been in Lakota. Even if the vote count at Lakota isn’t as conservative as it should be, it’s still better than what we had before. And future elections can certainly smooth that ratio out and will naturally match the national trends toward populism. 

Ultimately, however, my opinion hasn’t changed, even with this trend toward conservatism on school boards. Public education as a concept is doomed. It’s too expensive, inefficient, and doesn’t produce good people. It’s just a trainwreck in the best of cases. It certainly has not been a replacement for good parenting. After the behavior I have witnessed so far in 2022 regarding school board behavior and how the big liberal administrations behave toward it, it’s obvious to me that public education is doomed to complete failure. Suppose they think Darbi Boddy is bad and that the only acceptable Republican on a board is some wishy-washy RINO who will go way out of their way to get along in a “nonpartisan” kind of way, always bending the knee to radical liberals empowered through the teacher’s unions. In that case, there is no hope for them. If they are having trouble now, what will they do in the next elections when more Darbi Boddy types get elected and replace the stale old establishment types who covered up way too much bad behavior just to protect the school from outside opinion? They aren’t going to make it. I remember in April when the news story was all about Lakota might lose their superintendent over the radical school board member, Darbi Boddy, as if we needed to get rid of her to keep him and his $200,000 salary. Well, I don’t think he’s worth it, especially after watching his performance through Covid and recently over several things. We would do better with a much more engaged and less progressive person. I know they fear teacher shortages and bad state report cards, and the public relations of the superintendent are meant to put rosy glasses on all that for the illusion of goodness. But when a district is garbage, it is garbage. You can’t put perfume on it to make it smell better. The fact that the public employees of Lakota want so badly to get rid of the best school board member, Darbi Boddy, says that they aren’t ready to deal with the national trend in public education that is happening everywhere. And that fault is their own for failing to adjust to a changing world and holding on to a failure from the progressive past. 

Rich Hoffman

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